Morning Brief: The Democrats’ moment

Top Story John Moore/Getty Images The Democratic National Convention begins today in Denver, Colorado. Adam Nagourney of the New York Times sees a party “nervous about Senator Barack Obama’s prospects” and eager to put the divisive primary battle with Hillary Clinton behind it. Not everyone is preaching unity, however: Politico reports on some residual feuding ...

593027_080825_podium5.jpg
593027_080825_podium5.jpg

Top Story

John Moore/Getty Images

The Democratic National Convention begins today in Denver, Colorado. Adam Nagourney of the New York Times sees a party "nervous about Senator Barack Obama's prospects" and eager to put the divisive primary battle with Hillary Clinton behind it.

Top Story

John Moore/Getty Images

The Democratic National Convention begins today in Denver, Colorado. Adam Nagourney of the New York Times sees a party “nervous about Senator Barack Obama’s prospects” and eager to put the divisive primary battle with Hillary Clinton behind it.

Not everyone is preaching unity, however: Politico reports on some residual feuding over Bill Clinton’s speaking slot.

Obama will speak Thursday at Invesco Field, which seats 75,000 people. Marc Ambinder predicts the speech will be more “workmanlike” than soaring.

Here’s the schedule of events and Christopher Buckley’s mock version.

John McCain is keeping a light schedule but won’t concede the week to Obama.

Global Economy

Some oil is finally flowing through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, helping to send oil prices down to around $114.

The world economy is slowing and credit markets are freezing up again. Krishna Guha finds the world’s central bankers “caught between hope and despair.”

The “global consensus on trade is unraveling,” Larry Summers warns.

Europe and the Caucasus

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is vowing to reclaim South Ossetia and Abkhazia, currently under Russian control. Russia’s upper house of parliament just voted to recognize the two breakaway regions’ independence.

Russian media have portrayed the conflict in Georgia as “evidence that Moscow has regained its global dominance,” according to the LA Times. Ukraine’s president weighs in.

A U.S. Navy destroyer has landed in Georgia to provide humanitarian aid.

Asia

The Olympics are over, and China won the most gold medals with 51. Edward Cody calls the games a “victory” that may “empower” the Communist Party. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing is “disappointed” by China’s treatment of protesters.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai fired two top military leaders after an errant U.S. airstrike that he said killed more than 89 innocent people. More here.

The Taliban is winning, according to Pakistani presidential hopeful Asif Ali Zardari.

Tensions are high in Kashmir after India arrested two leaders of the recent protests. Many Kashmiri Muslims are ignoring an imposed curfew.

Middle East and Africa

Zimbabwe arrested two opposition MPs in what opposition leaders say is a transparent attempt to win the speaker of parliament vote.

Iran’s supreme leader has thrown his weight behind Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s bid for a second term as Iranian president.

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, gave a rare press conference to dispel persistent rumors that he is ill.

Most internally displaced Iraqis in Baghdad are not returning to their homes.

Al Qaeda is evading a financial crackdown by keeping its costs low.

Today’s Agenda

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is visiting Israel to breathe new life into the sagging peace process. Israel released 198 Palestinian prisoners, which helps some.

Lebanon’s PM Fouad Siniora is visiting Baghdad to enhance bilateral ties with Iraq.

Nawaz Sharif is due to decide today about whether his party will stay in Pakistan’s government.

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.